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July 15, 2024

Dinner With Henry 115: Home Alone With Shakespeare

By Bruce Memblatt

Shakespeare kicked the blanket off of his bed, yawned, stretched, agonized, jumped out of bed, and stood next to the matress.

The top of his head and the matress aligned, he reached onto the bed, pulled his shirt off it, and stuck his head through the neck of the small garment. Another day in paradise was about to commence.

Standing on the chair adjacent to the stove in his tiny kitchen, preparing his coffee, he ran the things he had on his agenda for the day through his mind.

1 - Go to kitchen.

2 - Make parfaits.

3 - Argue with Andre.

4 - Make more parfaits.

5 - Argue with Andre.

6 - Make more parfaits.

7 - Etc.

8 - Go home.

He sighed, and throwing his coffee cup to the floor, he cried, "I hate being short, and I hate being blind, and I really hate this warehouse!"

That's when he heard a knock on the door. And a muffled voice in the hallway. "What is going on in there, Shakespeare, are you okay?"

Shakespeare stepped off the chair and made his way to the front door. He grabbed for the knob, which Henry had installed lower on the door so he could reach it properly, and then suddenly he paused, and cried, "Go away, Fatso, I'm not coming out!"

"What do you mean you're not coming out, Shakespeare?"

"I mean I've had enough. This is it."

"Enough of what?" Andre cried, pounding on the door.

Shakspeare stomped his feet. "EVERYTHING. This place. You. Henry and that crazy bitch!"

"Which one, Maria or Clarissa?"


Andre leaned against the door. "Well, we all have, but such is life. Open the door!"

"No," Shakspeare said, and then he walked away from the foyer and returned to the kitchen and made another cup of coffee, listening to Andre's knocks trailing off in the distance. Still on edge while sipping his coffee, he began to feverishly tap on the small table. And then he yelled in the direction of the door, "Like I said, I have had enough and I'm never coming out! NEVER!"


Shit. He'd have to walk back to the doorway. Being a blind midget on Delancey Street was becoming increasingly intolerable, but where could he go? Back to the freak show? No! Nowhere. Nowhere. He had nowhere to go.

He kicked the door.

"Why are you kicking the door? You are inside. I am supposed to kick the door. Oh, never mind, guess who is here now? Henry is here to talk to you, Shakespeare," Andre said and then he grabbed Henry by the collar.

Meanwhile, inside the apartment, Shakespeare sighed again and taking a deep breath, he waited for Henry to speak.

And he waited.

And he waited some more.

Finally Shakespeare cried, "Well, where is Henry?"

"Sorry," Henry said. "Sorry, Shakespeare, I couldn't find my phone."

That's when Andre kicked Henry in the rear and whispered, "Right, Henry. And I am Princess Leah."

"Well," Shakespeare cried, perking his ears, "What is the hold up?"

That's when Henry said, eyeing Andre, "Hey, Shakespeare why don't you come out and we'll all talk this over calmly."

Andre shrugged, kneed Henry, and said, "Well, Henry, if he was going to come out and talk he would have done that in the first place, but the point is, he is not coming out. That is why we are here."

Henry rolled his eyes. "I know, Andre, but I am trying to convince him to change his mind. Don't you get anything? This is your entire fault in the first place."

Andre threw his hat to the floor near the door and he cried, "Of course, it is my fault. Isn't everything my fault? You tell me, what did I do, Henry? WHAT DID I DO to make that crazy midget lock himself in his apartment?"

Shakespeare snapped from behind the door, "Hey, who are you calling crazy?"

"Well, Shakespeare," Andre said sticking his eyes against the peephole, "I am not the one who locked himself inside my apartment!"

"Yeah, but we all wished you did," Shakespeare snapped.

Then Henry tapped Andre on the shoulder. "See what I'm saying? Maybe if you didn't needle him so much he wouldn't be locked behind that door."

"AND WHAT ABOUT ME? WHAT ABOUT ME? That two-foot terror needles me all the time, too. WHAT ABOUT ME?"

"Will you stop shouting, Andre," Diego breathed, walking down the hallway towards Andre and Henry. "It is always something with you, isn't it, Andre?"

"Great," Andre said. "Now the other one is here."

Henry's eyes bulged and his wing darted up. "What is that supposed to mean, Andre?"

"Nothing, Henry. Nothing at all. It's now time for the two of you to gang up on me, right? If you DON'T MIND, I will sit this one out," Andre said, then he slipped his legs, slid to the floor, and sat next to the bottom of Shakespeare's door.

"That looks like a good idea. I will sit there too," Diego said as she stared at Andre.

"But what about your thing about floors, Diego?" Henry said, cautiously smiling at Diego.

Diego sighed, "I'm well over that, Henry. Can we now get back to the subject at hand?"

Andre looked up at the couple and said with crossed eyes, "Her thing about floors?"

"Never mind, Big One, just get up and get your stupid sidekick to open the door," Diego breathed, pointing at Andre.


Suddenly, another voice was heard in the hallway, accompanied by the jingle-jangle of familiar bracelets. "Ay ay ay -- what is going on here now? And where is my lettle peppy midget?" Maria said, now standing in front of the small crowd that had gathered in front of Shakespeare's door.

Someone down the hallway cried, "Maybe I should call the police?"

"NO! No no, it is okay, I will get him out," Maria smiled and then she snapped her fingers.

"Right," Andre said as he stood from the floor, "like he would ever listen to you."

"Ha Ha! Look who is talking, Fatso. Who would listen to you, you stupid maricon"

Andre's eyes, nose, and ears quivered. "HENRY. WHERE ARE YOU? I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!"

Shakespeare sighed and sauntered back to his bedroom. Got back in bed. It was going to be a long day. But at least he wasn't making parfaits. He smiled, flipped on the TV.

And he sighed some more.

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2014-06-30
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
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